The Foundation Programme is for international students who want to do a bachelor’s programme at Maastricht University but do not meet the admission requirements.
The Foundation programme trains for the following Maastricht University bachelor's programmes:
The switch from high school to university education can be challenging – especially when you are planning to study abroad. To give yourself the best chance of succeeding at your study, you should prepare properly for this challenge. In the Foundation Programme, you will be able to familiarise yourself with a new culture and adjust to a new style of learning. The intensive education and training that you will receive during this programme will make you eligible for your chosen bachelor’s programme. It will help you be able to ‘hit the ground running’ and get the most out of your university education.
The one-year, full-time Foundation Programme consists of four parts:
academic skills training
English language training
cultural & social events
|Period||Course content||Academic skills||English language||Cultural & social events|
|1||Introduction to Europe||Academic skills||English course||Arrival support (housing, banking, insurance)|
|2||Mathematics||Academic skills||English course||'Dealing with the Dutch' training|
|3||Research methods||Academic skills||English course||Culture night|
|4||Introduction to Economics||Academic skills||English course & IELTS exam preparation||Summer BBQ, transfer support|
Via the four pillars, we train you for the bachelor’s programme of your choice. The table below gives you an idea of how the programme is organised. This is an example of the study program for the Economics track.
Note: (Near) native English speakers can be exempt from the first 2 periods of English language training in exchange for a tuition fee reduction of 2000 Euros.
Teaching staff from different faculties at Maastricht University teach courses that provide you with the background knowledge that you will need to succeed at the bachelor’s programme of your choice. For example, you might take courses like:
Intro to Europe: focuses on various aspects of living and studying in Europe, including different ways of systematically comparing cultures and the contemporary history of Europe
Mathematics: Based on your entry level, you will be divided into different study groups. The course then consists of classes supported by an online environment with exercises providing instant feedback. Topics range from algebra and equations to differentiation and integration (amongst others). You are expected to progress through the different modules until you reach the entry requirements of your chosen study programme.
Research methods: introduces you to scientific methodology and provides the necessary tools for academic research, ending with writing your own research proposal
Introduction to Economics/Law/Sciences/ Health: focuses on the first topics that you will cover during your further studies. It lays the foundation for the bachelor's programme of your choice
The skills training course will introduce you to the academic skills every university student needs. We will cover topics ranging from writing summaries, creating outlines and planning your time effectively to Problem-Based Learning (PBL) or writing an academic paper. You will have the opportunity to develop and improve these skills during small tutorial-style classes and regular written assignments, as well as individual and group presentations.
You will receive English language training at the university’s Language Centre. The aim is to prepare you for the IELTS examination at the end of the year. You will be expected to achieve the bachelor-specific entry requirements during this exam. Students who have already obtained their English entry requirements will further improve their language skills with the goal of attaining a Cambridge advanced or proficiency certificate.
The cultural and social programme will help you adapt to life in the Netherlands and more specifically, to life as a student in Maastricht. You will be introduced to a student mentor who will help you take care of several practical matters and help you to integrate into the university’s social environment. This can be via attending events such as sport tournaments, cooking and eating together, or taking trips to neighbouring cities. Check out our Facebook page to see what kinds of social events we organise.
Your progress will be assessed throughout the Foundation Programme using written assignments, presentations and exams. You can only begin with your bachelor’s programme once you have passed the entire Foundation Programme successfully. As it happens, our students have a high success rate - over 75% of them advance to the bachelor’s programme of their choice.
The Foundation Programme staff and mentors offer additional support with practical issues (such as housing, banking and insurance) to help you get settled in Maastricht. Before you arrive, we will apply for your visa (if you need one) and will provide you with information about housing options. Other practical matters will be taken care of during the first week of the Foundation Programme. This will also be the time you will meet your fellow students, your mentor and the Foundation Programme staff.
Once you have successfully passed the programme, you will be eligible for the bachelor’s programme we prepared you for.
Please note that some bachelor's programmes still require an additional application after graduating from the Foundation Programme. As part of the Foundation Programme, we will also assist you in this application procedure.
So far we have placed 100% of our graduates in the bachelor's programme of their choice.
Applicants must have a high school diploma with excellent grades and have an overall IELTS score of at least 5.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.0 in writing.
To apply, please click the green button on the right. Don't forget to include:
We receive applications on a rolling basis. If you need a study visa it is advisable to hand in the application before the end of August.
If you apply for the Foundation programme and confirm your attendance at Foundation Programme before 15th April, you will receive a 250 Euro deduction on your tuition fee.
"I'm a graduate of the American School of The Hague. I moved to the Netherlands three years ago because of my father’s job and I consider Netherlands as my second home. I was looking for the right preparatory study and a family friend recommended the Foundation Programme. Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is effective in engaging students in learning.
The advice I would give to any prospective student is to make the most out of the Foundation Programme by engaging as much as possible in all the different events and activities in order to make new friends and ensure that the transition to student life in the Netherlands is less challenging."
- Noura Almesned, Saudi Arabia
"I would say the Foundation Programme prepares you well for what to expect living and studying in Maastricht. The social program introduced us to the mentors who guided us around town, we explored new friendships and I shared moments with people from different countries; the festive “Sinterklaas” party, with drinks, food, and of course, presents!
The Ferris wheels, and warm “poffertjes” with powdered sugar at the Christmas market helped dampen the home sickness, I admit I sometimes felt. The summer BBQ, towards the end of the Foundation program, was a bitter-sweet moment as you knew that you would soon leave this cosy family."
- Pim Vliegen, Thailand-Belgium
“We all took the same classes in the beginning of the programme, including: European History, Skills, Mathematics, and Research Methodology and each class prepared us for our Bachelor study in a different way. The Skills class prepared me for University study techniques. We had to practice writing essays using the Maastricht University criteria which I found really helpful because I now know what teachers expect me to include.
It also taught me some study techniques, like speed-reading, that are essential for my time at University. I also had to take an Economics class and what I learned in this class was even comparable to what I studied as an International Business student later on."
- Fidelia Ikli Shufa, Indonesia
"I greatly enjoyed the Foundation Programme. It was an amazing journey that strengthened my academic and social skills. The Problem-Based Learning system prepared me well for my current bachelor’s programme. The studying experience enabled me to secure an International Business scholarship.
I would definitely recommend the Foundation Programme to students seeking the right academic skills prior to a bachelor’s study!"
- Dan Yang, China
"The programme provided solid foundation for my bachelor's study. It also created lifelong contacts that have been useful to date. Having been born in Zambia, I wanted to gain study abroad experience, broaden my network and gain skills that last a lifetime. Maastricht University was a natural choice for me given the Problem Based Learning approach, student diversity and broad network.
I highly recommend this programme. It's suitable to those who want to gain study abroad experience and be well prepared prior to embarking on a bachelor's degree."
- Mpande Kapotwe, Zambia
Sint Servaasklooster 32
6211 TE, Maastricht
+31 (0) 43 388 5468
P.O. Box 616
6200 MD, Maastricht